Sushi Hotaru

Sushi Hotaru is a famous yet almost hidden Japanese restaurant on Bourke street. Its reputation as an “affordable and yummy” sushi place is well known especially to those living around Melbourne CBD. It was my first time visiting Hotaru and really fueled by the hype my friends gave about this place. The three of us managed 18 plates at the end, not bad huh?

When we arrived, there were some people sitting down at the regular tables area so we were directed to sit on the bar stools. I am not very keen on sitting at the bar area since forever but we had no choice. Later on we realized that those people sitting on the regular tables are the bosses (we reckoned) and some staffs having their break. Oh geez!


All the order are made using the provided touch-screen pad therefore we can order anything in anytime without calling the waiters. Efficient!

My favorite was the scampi nigiri sushi which came per 1 piece for each plate. The plating was interestingly incredible by putting the whole scampi over the nigiri. I love how fresh and sweet the scampi was with a pleasant chewy and smooth texture. This is worth to try and highly recommended!

sushi-hotaru-6Soft-shell crab hand roll was also our favorite and yes it was soooo good!  My friends excitedly insisted to order this and I have to thank them that we did. Well seasoned and crunchy soft-shell crab rolled by rice and crispy nori was just perfecto! The size of the hand roll was quite big too, such a real deal for the AU$3 price!

sushi-hotaru-5-1Wagyu beef Tataki was the first plate that disappointed us. You can even see from the picture that those sliced wagyu were dry, not juicy and or even tender as we expected!sushi-hotaru-4Scallop and salmon sushi was also a light up, divided into 4 sections and the burnt on top was the  crucial touch that make the dish scrumptious.sushi-hotaru-11Jelly fish sushi was quite good too in sweet-savory and refreshing after taste. The mix of crystal jelly noodle with the jelly fish was really nice to add more texture.sushi-hotaru-8 Agedashi Tofu and crispy soft shell crab was pretty nice. As Sushi Hotaru has a really good fried soft shell crab, the combination with fried silken white tofu served with tentsuyu sauce was a good match.sushi-hotaru-10Who doesn’t love snacking crispy salmon skin? I myself is also a fan of salmon skin but if there is anything to add, I would like to have crispier and thinner salmon skin for sure! The salmon skins were really escalated because of the lemony soy sauce (shoyu).sushi-hotaru-7The service at Sushi Hotaru can be considered prompt but not very friendly. I don’t really mind as long as they do the service quickly. I mean, for affordable eating where most of the menu merely cost you AU$ 3, good service is kinda bonus! Too bad we didn’t get that bonus from Sushi Hotaru though.

We spent around $60,00 for three people, sated and happy as we ate many different dishes. Everything is in balance regarding the price and what you get. If you are strolling in the city craving for affordable Japanese eatery OR if you are a student study around the CBD, this place is not a bad choice to dine in.
Sushi Hotaru on Urbanspoon


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